UK upset by Indiana on last-second 3-pointer



Five seconds remained on the clock and UK was clinging to a one-point lead over the Indiana Hoosiers, with UK’s sophomore guard Doron Lamb going to the line to shoot two free throws.

The ensuing five seconds of action on the floor would define the attitude of the more than 17,000 red-clad Hoosier fans at Assembly Hall.

If Kentucky his some fouls shots and held on to the lead, the passionate IU fans likely become bitter and venomous. If the Hoosiers created a last-second win, delirious chaos would be the result.

Indiana’s junior forward Christian Watford nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Hoosiers a 73-72 victory over the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats at Assembly Hall Saturday evening and propelled several thousand Hoosiers fans to rush the court to celebrate with their team.

The opportunity for the win was made available to the Hoosiers late in the game as the Cats missed crucial free throws. With a 71-70 lead, freshman Anthony Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1 for the Cats.

The Cats forced another stop defensively, however, as Lamb made a steal and then was fouled with five seconds to play. This was the tenth team foul on IU, and would give Lamb two free throw opportunities.

Lamb, an 89 percent free-throw shooter coming in to the game, was 6-for-9 from the stripe for the game. Lamb missed the first, but drilled the second, to give the Cats a 72-70 lead.

“I had a lot of confidence going to the line at the end,” said Lamb. “Things happen, everybody can’t make every foul shot they take.”

“If you want to have somebody on the line, he’s the man you want on the line,” said UK head coach John Calipari. “Stuff happens.”

The Cats had only committed four team fouls on the half, meaning they had two fouls to give before IU would get foul shots.

“We were going to foul them. The whole timeout was about fouling,” said Calipari. “Marquis (Teague) tried to foul and they didn’t call it.”

IU got the ball up the court quickly and senior guard Verdell Jones III drove toward the basket as the clock raced down.

As the Cats helped to stop the driving Jones, Watford made himself available behind the arc. Jones made the pass to Watford who rose up for a 3-point shot over a lunging Darius Miller.

Watford’s shot was true – hitting nothing but net, giving the Hoosiers a 73-72 lead as time expired.

“We were going to foul before they made the shot before they crossed half court,” said Lamb. “Nobody fouled and they made a lucky shot and it went in.”

“The one vivid image to me in my mind is how picture perfect that shot was,” said IU head coach Tom Crean. “He stayed in his shot – he didn’t fade and kick. It was a picture perfect form.”

After the shot went through the net, the crowd emptied on to the Assembly Hall floor to celebrate the victory with the Hoosiers.

The partisan crowd of 17,472 arrived early, stayed late and was rock-concert loud throughout.

Students attempted to camp out to get in to the game as early as Tuesday but were sent away with vouchers and told to come back later in the week. The student sections and most of the other areas of the arena were full almost an hour prior to tip-off.

The crowd lustily booed the Cats so much that it was impossible to hear the starters announced.

The Cats were hampered with sub-par performances by two usually reliable interior players. Anthony Davis was plagued with foul trouble and sophomore Terrence Jones was just. . . plagued.

Jones, who came in to the game averaging 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, scored four points and grabbed one rebound. He also committed six turnovers. His performance led to Coach Calipari benching him for all but 15 seconds of the final 6:28 of the game.

“These guys aren’t machines, they’re not computers,” said Calipari. “They have bad games. You move on.”

Davis played just 24 minutes due to foul trouble. IU took advantage of his absence several times, including a quick 11-0 spurt after Davis picked up his third foul with 17:35 left in the game. IU turned a 35-34 deficit into a 45-35 lead before Calipari sent Davis back in.

“The rim changes (when Davis is out),” said Crean. “When you have a good chance to capitalize with one of their really good players like him out of there you have to do it.”

The Cats were led offensively by Lamb, who had 19 points off 2-for-3 shooting behind the arc. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 18 points and nine rebounds.

“Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was an animal,” said Calipari. “Doron Lamb hung in there and played well.”

Marquis Teague added 15 points, in a very uneven effort. Teague was 0-for-5 with zero points and three turnovers at the half.

“I expected Marquis Teague to play the way he did in the first half, but then he came back and he played well (in the second half),” said Calipari.

The Hoosiers leading scorer was the hero of the day, Watford, who scored 20 points – knocking down four of his six three-points attempts, including the buzzer-beating game winner.

IU had four others score in double-digits, sophomore Victor Oladipo with 13, freshman Cody Zeller and junior Jordan Hulls with 11 each, and sophomore Will Sheehey with 10.

Turnovers (18-17 UK advantage) and rebounding (30 each) were basically even. The biggest statistical difference was behind the arc. The Hoosiers connected on 9-of-15 and the Cats on 2-7 from 3-point range, for a 21 point IU advantage.

The Cats also were outscored at the free-throw stripe, as the Hoosiers hit 14-for-17 to UK’s 10-17.

Both foul shooting and 3-point shooting directly impacted the finish.

“It really came down to who had the ball last,” said Crean. “It’s one of those moments that everybody’s going to remember.”

“I’m proud of my team. I’m proud of the way they played and they way they gutted it out in the second half,” said Calipari. “You’ve got to give Tommy (Crean) credit for getting his team ready. My hat’s off to Indiana. They deserve this win.”